Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) is an association of 10 private, nonprofit colleges in the state. ICW's member institutions share a commitment to high-quality, academically rigorous learning, and to an education that emphasizes critical thinking, lifelong learning, ethics, leadership, and community service.

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Independent Colleges of Washington provide educational opportunity, choice, and success for students. 

ICW's mission is accomplished by:

  • Securing financial resources for students
  • Advocating for public policy that supports students
  • Building strategic collaborations
  • Telling the compelling story of high-quality, academically rigorous private non-profit colleges in Washington. 

Our member colleges:

  • Are part of a diverse statewide system of high-quality independent and public colleges
  • Put high-quality, academically rigorous education and economic opportunity within the reach of students from all walks of life
  • Confer 1 in 5 baccalaureate and advanced degrees awarded in the state. Our students receive 2% of the state’s higher education budget through student aid
  • Employ over 7,000 residents and contribute nearly $2.5 billion to state and local economies
  • ICW colleges develop leaders by equipping students with communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills, within an ethical framework


  • 40,000 students at 29 locations statewide
  • 2/3 are Washington residents
  • 31% low-income, 25% first generation
  • 32% transfer students (of juniors and seniors)


  • Broad array of liberal arts programs
  • Major producer of high-demand degrees


  • Produce 1 in 5 bachelor's and advanced degrees
  • Strong graduation rate for State Need Grant recipients and all students

Affordable for Students

  • ICW colleges fund grants for 90% of students
  • Average annual amount of grant aid is $14,000
  • 80% of graduates finish in four years or less

Bargain for the State

  • ICW college students receive 2% of state higher education budget
  • Low-income ICW students cost the state $8,200 per year (compared to $17,000 at public research universities)

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Financial and Non-Profit Information

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Independent Colleges of Washington collaborates with:

Memberships and affiliations


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Violet A. Boyer
President & CEO

Violet has served as the president and CEO of ICW since September 1998. Prior to her appointment, she served as assistant vice president for congressional and state relations with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Violet joined NAICU after working in the U.S. Senate, most recently as the legislative director for former Sen. Kent Conrad (D- N.D.)

She began her career as a teacher and has also worked in higher education administration at two independent colleges. Boyer received her bachelor's degree from Dakota Wesleyan University, and earned a master's degree from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Boyer currently serves on the Executive Committee of NAICU State Executives and is Vice Chair of The Coalition on College Cost Savings.

Anne Cassidy

Anne Cassidy
Vice President for Advancement Services

Anne joined ICW in 2008 and has worked in the fundraising arena for over 20 years at various institutions, including the University of Kentucky and at various non-profit organizations in and around the Puget Sound area. Her most recent position was Executive Director of the Edmonds Community College Foundation in Lynnwood where she developed her interest in and passion for higher education. Anne received her bachelor's degree from Oregon State University and her master's from Portland State University.

Chadd Bennett

Chadd Bennett
Director of Research
and Outreach

Chadd joined ICW in July 2009. Prior to working with ICW, he managed international programs at Highline Community College and pre-college programs for Kaplan-Aspect, developed member programs at the Washington Athletic Club, and was a tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe. Chadd received his bachelor's degree from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN.

Devon Crouch

Devon Crouch
Government Relations Assistant

Devon Joined Independent Colleges of Washington in January 2014.  Prior to working with ICW, he worked in clinical and translational research administration at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.  Devon earned his bachelor's degree from Seattle Pacific University.

Patty Daniels

Patty Daniels
Director of Finance

Patty has worked with Independent Colleges of Washington since 1978. She joined the association as a Seattle University work-study student.

Her responsibilities include operating finances of the organization. Daniels received her bachelor's degree from Seattle University.

Robin Horrell

Robin Horrell
Director of Board and Executive Services

Robin joined the ICW team in September 2015, bringing over 15 years of experience within government, foundation, and not‐for‐profit sectors.

She is a proud Pacific Lutheran University graduate and also earned a MSW from Portland State University.

Tom Fitzsimmons
Vice President

Tom joined ICW in November 2013 after serving for six years as principal and chief executive officer with LORIG Associates, LLC.

Previously, he served as chief of staff to former governors Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke. Prior to those roles he was director of the Washington State Department of Ecology. He has also owned and managed his own consulting firm.

Fitzsimmons earned his BA from the University of Washington and his MA in Public Administration at Seattle University.

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Independent Colleges of Washington
600 Stewart Street, Suite 600
Seattle, Washington 98101
Telephone: 206-623-4494


For information about individual member institutions, please contact the media relations and PR representatives listed in this directory.

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Directions to our office

The ICW office is located in the Plaza 600 Building at 6th Avenue and Stewart Street, just east of the Westin Hotel in Downtown Seattle. Map

From I-5 southbound take the Stewart Street exit (#166) and follow Stewart to 6th Avenue. Turn right on 6th Avenue. The Plaza 600 Building is on the right side of the street.

From I-5 northbound take the Seneca Street Exit (#165), to the left. Turn right on 6th Avenue (first light you come to). Follow 6th Avenue six blocks to Stewart. The Plaza 600 Building is at the corner of 6th Avenue and Stewart on the right.

From 520 take the I-5 southbound exit towards Portland. Quickly get in the far right lane. Take the Stewart Street exit (#166) and follow Stewart to 6th Avenue. Turn right on 6th Avenue. The Plaza 600 Building is on the right side of the street.

From I-90 take the I-5 Northbound exit (2-C) towards Vancouver, BC. (You don't actually get onto I-5.) When the road splits, keep right toward Madison Street. Turn left onto Madison, then right on 6th Avenue. Follow 6th Avenue eight blocks to Stewart. The Plaza 600 Building is at the corner of 6th Avenue and Stewart on the right.

Short-term parking is available in Pacific Place, two blocks south of the Plaza Building at 7th and Olive. Entrances are on 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue. Our building also has parking. Access the garage off Westlake St. near the alley. Several other parking lots are available in the vicinity.

Public Transit
Many downtown bus routes serve our neighborhood. You can check Metro's downtown route map or use its on-line trip planner to find the best route for you. We're also just a few blocks from the downtown terminal of the Seattle Center Monorail, Link Light Rail (airport), and the Seattle Streetcar.

From Airport take the Link Light Rail to the Westlake Station. Exit the station at Pine and go northeast (left) towards 6th Avenue. Go north (left) on 6th Avenue. Our building is on the northeast corner of 6th and Stewart, easily identifiable by the barbershop and Starbucks on the main floor.

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